Capturing Beautiful Bellies

By BPSOP Instructor: Scott Stulberg

Scott Teaches:

Eye to Eye: Capturing the Face


The female body has been one of the most beautiful things to photograph since the camera was invented long ago. I love capturing the female form in different ways, in different lighting and that’s one of the reasons I have been drawn to photographing women when they are pregnant.

Watching their tummies grow month after month, I find it incredibly photogenic. I find that 7 months pregnant is usually the earliest I want to capture them as that is when their shape starts looking the best. After you plan the shoot, experimenting with different methods and locations can make them look gorgeous and provide some great memories.


I wanted to share many different images and ideas on how I go about trying to capture these beautiful bellies in so many different ways. Shooting outdoors is completely different than shooting indoors, and each have their difficulties.

In the image above, at Santa Monica beach at sunset, I wanted to capture a silhouette of my cousin, when the sun just hit the edge of the water but also with the waves crashing against the sand. Knowing I was going to do a silhouette, I asked Leslie to wear all black, which definitely helped.

Posing is so critically important and having her look down, with her eyes closed and her hands wrapped under her belly gave me just what I was looking for. Many times I have ideas in my head before the shoot and this is key as those big bellies make women pretty tired. It’s best to come prepared with ideas in advance.

The softness of window light


Often, window light indoors can be just what the doctor ordered. During the day, there are so many different ways to harness the light and capture exquisite pregnancy images. Your subjects can be close to the window as in the image above of my friend Laura, or they can be placed further away from the window and capture the soft, ethereal light quality. In the 3 images below, you can see more examples of harnessing window light indoors.



The advantages of working with window light are many. You can shoot images in different rooms of your home and you don’t really need much equipment. I do use reflectors and diffusers with window light quite often and my Photoflex gear always helps me soften or bounce light just where I need it.

Whether it’s filtered light through blinds or flat light in the bathroom, window light is one of my favorite light sources for capturing these beautiful bellies!  But you can also use kitchen lights or lamps to try other things as in the image below. Playing around and experimenting is always fun with women and big bellies.!


If she wants, taking her outdoors can produce some of the best images possible as you can take advantage of the beautiful light at different times of the day. You can also photograph her family with her and capture some beautiful family portraits. From my experience, images with their husband, like the image above, seem to be timeless.

If they have other kids, I love trying to use them in some beautiful ways in some of the photos. So often, these tend to be the ones that are framed and kept throughout the house.

You have to do your scouting for the best light and best locations outdoors if you want to capture something that they will absolutely love. Below are a few different examples of using beautiful light outdoors. Don’t forget to always capture horizontals and verticals, as often you might not know which one they will like best.


You can also use fabric in different ways indoors and outdoors and I love looking for great fabric at fabric stores. I love red, orange, yellow and green and the best to buy is called Chiffon. It literally floats across the body and photographs incredibly well as you can see in this next photo.


Capturing timeless images of women and their beautiful bellies can be incredibly rewarding, not just for you but also for their entire family. It becomes memories for everyone, forever.

I have been photographing pregnant women for as long as I can remember and I never get tired of it. You just have to think outside of the box, have some decent gear with you if possible & look for great locations& great light. After that, it’s time to create some magic.  Have fun…!


-BPSOP Instructor: Scott Stulberg

Scott Teaches:

Eye to Eye: Capturing the Face


“I just wanted to thank you for another wonderful class. I have to confess that each week when I read the new assignment, my first reaction was mild panic and a deep certainty that I would not be able to produce anything worthwhile that fit within the parameters you had set. But before I knew it, the ideas started to flow, and I quickly became obsessed (no, that isn’t too strong a word!) with exploring the possibilities. I can honestly say that the photos I produced in response to your assignments are among my favorites. Thanks for bringing out a creative side I didn’t know I had!”

Barbara Geiger
Understanding Color

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After the click

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